Statement of Basic Beliefs
What follows is an attempt to state, as briefly as possible, the official beliefs of the North American Old Roman Catholic Church (NAORCC), Archdiocese of California.
Part of what was adopted at the Council of Trent (1545-1563) was a "profession of faith," most recently found at the front of the 1917 Code of Canon Law (not included, that is, in the most recent - 1983 - Code of Canon Law). By and large, it represents the heart of Roman Catholic belief during the 400 years between Trent and the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) in the early 1960s. And since the NAORCC, having descended from Rome prior to Vatican II and therefore not officially directly influenced by it, identifies primarily with the pre-modern Church (so to speak), the following "statement of basic belief," modeled on the "Tridentine profession," should be helpful:
1. The NAORCC most steadfastly admits and embraces Apostolical and ecclesiastical traditions, and all other observances and constitutions of the Church prior to Vatican II, with some significant concessions to Vatican II (vernacular liturgy, administration of Holy Communion in both kinds [both the Body and the Blood], et al).
2. The NAORCC also admits the Holy Scripture according to that sense which our holy mother the Church has held, and does hold, to which it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretations of the Scriptures. Neither will the NAORCC ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers (early writers of the first 800 years of the Church).
3. The NAORCC also professes that there are truly and properly seven sacraments of the New Law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and necessary for the salvation of mankind, though not all for every one; to wit, Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction (Anointing with Oil), Orders, and Matrimony; and that they confer grace; and that of these, Baptism, Confirmation, and Orders cannot be reiterated without sacrilege. The NAORCC also receives and admits the received and approved ceremonies of the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church in the solemn administration of the aforesaid sacraments, with some concessions as mentioned above in #1.
4. The NAORCC embraces and receives all and every one of the things which have been defined and declared in the holy Council of Trent concerning original sin and justification.
5. The NAORCC professes, likewise, that in the Mass there is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead; and that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist there is truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there is made a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, which conversion the Catholic Church calls Transubstantiation. The NAORCC also confesses that under either kind alone Christ is received whole and entire, and a true sacrament.
6. The NAORCC constantly holds that there is a Purgatory, and that the souls therein detained are helped by the suffrages (prayers) of the faithful.
7. Likewise, that the saints, reigning together with Christ, are to be honored and invocated, and that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be respected.
8. The NAORCC most firmly asserts that the images of Christ, of the mother of God, ever virgin, and also of the saints, ought to be had and retained, and that due honor and veneration is to be given them.
9. The NAORCC also affirms that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the Church, and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people, though not necessary for the practice of a wholesome faith.
10. The NAORCC acknowledges the Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church for the mother and mistress of all churches; and clergy of the NAORCC promise true obedience to the Presiding Archbishop and Coadjutor Archbishop of the NAORCC, holder of the Apostolic Succession, though canonically independent of the Bishop of Rome, to whom pure love and reverence are nonetheless due as successor to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ for All Catholicism.
11. The NAORCC likewise undoubtedly receives and professes all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred Canons, and general Councils, and particularly by the holy Council of Trent, various dogmatic decrees post-dating the Council of Trent, and certain pronouncements resulting from Vatican II.
The NAORCC, with absolute certainty, receives, believes and professes the three "officially" infallible pronouncements: Infallibility itself, and the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of the Blessed Mother.